Although it was noted that the bigger running brands were absent from The Running Show, I actually didn’t mind. Quite frankly, I spend more than enough time and money in Niketown as it is, so it was good to expand my fitness wardrobe horizons. Here’s my highlights…
I’ve never really been one to invest in specific running socks, surviving so far on not-very-technical pairs from H&M and Boots (absolutely no correlation to the amount I’ve had to spend on Compeed, of course). At the first Write This Run conference back in May, we got a pair of Balega Hidden Comfort socks which have been my one and only ‘good’ pair of socks ever since. We got another pair in the range at last weekend’s conference, and only then did it really click that Balega was a good sock brand and good socks were a good idea. I ran in the second pair we were given and dashed straight to the Fit Brands stand to stock up. At £10 a pair, I think that’s a lot for one pair of socks, but then again I have nothing to compare against. They were on 3 for 2 at the show, so twenty quid on protecting my poor, unloved feet is probably a good investment.
If it weren’t for Emma (who lead the yoga practice at the end of the Write This Run conference) mentioning she was head to toe in Moving Comfort and they had a stand at the show, I probably would’ve walked past without a second look. The ‘sister’ brand of Brooks Running, they’ve actually been around for ages in the US, but only have a fairly limited distribution here in the UK – I looked up their London stockists, of which there are six, and I have to admit to never stepping foot in a single one of them (maybe I should be checking out independent sports stores more often?!)
On first look, I think the brand is balancing finely at the line between good, well designed functional sportswear for women and that annoying most-add-flowers-and-a-pink-colourway-in-order-to-appeal-to-women thing, but overall I thought their dark purple and marl grey themed stand at the show was well balanced. It showcased some super soft fabrics and comfortable looking clothes suited to yoga or cool down, with more technical running pieces.
Here are a few of my favourites (I actually happen to quite like dark purple and mark grey):
I also did a quick currency conversion check, and they’ve priced their stuff at pretty much the same as it would cost if buying the US (e.g. a $110 item is £70 here – versus the current exchange rate of just over £67) – nice to know!
Not a new brand to me, but one I’ve never tried myself before. I’ve had lengthy discussions with many other runners recently, trying to come up with a solution to carrying all my crap (keys, phone, inhaler, gels, tissues, money, Oyster etc…) with me on long runs. Honestly, this topic has taken up a disproportionate amount of internet browsing time. Charlie suggested a hydration pack, Katy told me about the best offer ever and now I am the proud owner of this:
(The offer was a free Camelbak and the Runner’s World Complete Guide to Nutrition when you bought a £15 six month subscription to Runner’s World, which personally, I think is a bit of a deal.)
Even the boyfriend was impressed with this, and he is NEVER impressed with running stuff, so it must be good. The Camelbak website says this is actually a bike hydration pack, but I hope it was also be perfect for marathon training.
What new brands or interesting products have you discovered recently?